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January 1956

Methemoglobin Values in Premature and Mature Infants and Children

Author Affiliations

From the Kunstadter Laboratories for Pediatric Research and the Department of Pediatrics of Sarah Morris Hospital for Children of Michael Reese Hospital of Chicago.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1956;91(1):1-5. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1956.02060020003001

The concentration of methemoglobin in the blood serum of normal premature infants, full-term newborn infants, and older infants and children was the subject of this study.

Methemoglobin may exist in small amounts normally in the blood of children and adults.* It has also been found as a normal constituent of the blood in various animals.† The only normal children reported, however, were in the study by Paul and Kemp,1 and the youngest was 7 years.

There have been numerous reports of methemoglobinemia following poisoning7 or following administration of sulfonamide, acetanilid, and many other drugs.8 Methemoglobinemia in infants due to ingestion of water containing high concentrations of nitrates is well known.9

The principle aim of the present study was to determine the amounts of methemoglobin in the blood of normal premature and mature newborn infants and of older children.

MATERIAL AND METHODS  The premature infants and mature